The Rant You All Requested

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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by NoPoNeighbor on Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:00 pm

adoptedzag wrote:It really is that simple. Even gu has to step out into the world in the ooc. Or you can beat gu in the wcc tournament final. Complaining that you can't get somewhere when the paths are there is small-minded. No one is going to be the next Gonzaga and get there the same way. It was a serendipitous series of events that gu took advantage of to get where we are. To get the same success sometimes you have to think outside the box. When life closes a door sometimes you have to go through a window. Even SMC for as much guff as I give them for their scheduling is creatively finding their way into the tournament. Even if they don't win the auto bid. So don't give me some sob story about gu holding everyone back.
This is the exact logic espoused by right-wing elites who blame the majority for being poor in a system that is structurally set up to have a poor majority. "We pulled ourselves up by our own bootstraps, and you should too. If you can't, it's your own fault for not trying hard enough." If you are the only school in the conference that has attained your level of success, is it more logical that the other schools are inept, or that you are the exception to the rule?

Adoptedzag takes it to the next level, arguing that Gonzaga is somehow the victim of the rest of the WCC. 20 straight tournament appearances, a perennial Final Four contender, multiple #1 seeds, hitherto unknown riches pouring into the university, and yet somehow Pepperdine, LMU and Portland are holding you back? And then there are the self-contradictory arguments that the WCC schools need to invest more in their programs, and ALSO that those schools need to stop receiving money from GU's tournament appearances. Pick one.

Your prescription for the UPs of the world is "Schedule OOC teams, beat those teams, then don't worry about Vegas." So, in other words, "be better at basketball than you are now, and then beat higher-ranked teams." Great advice. Actually... it is, in all honesty, great advice. So great, that most schools in the WCC are actively pursuing that exact path. As with the patronizing demands that the poor simply try harder and become rich, "trying harder" fails more often than not when the deck is stacked against you.

Obviously I know the most about Portland, so here's a summary of the Pilots' "trying harder" over the last decade:

- Major investments in new locker rooms, weight room, and a dedicated basketball practice facility;
- Hiring a coaching staff that would be impressive at any Power 6 school: Head coach who is an NBA legend, with NBA head coaching experience; and two high-profile assistant coaches with significant Pac12 experience and track records of finding and coaching NBA-caliber recruits;
- Recruiting budget allowing for travel around the world;
- Playing multiple OOC games every year against P6 opponents and regular NCAA tournament teams, including some of the best programs in the country: Kentucky, Michigan State, UNLV, UCLA, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, North Carolina, Oregon State, Boise State, Oklahoma...

When we hear vague demands for the lower-tier WCC schools to "try harder" and "invest more," these must be the exact things that are implied, right? Spend money on better facilities, hire better/higher profile coaches, increase your recruiting budget, and schedule tougher OOC opponents. Are there other "try harder" steps that we aren't taking? Pray tell!

I disagree with Stonehouse. The problem is not the difficulty in scheduling OOC games against good opponents. The Pilots have been able to do that. The problem is that the Pilots are not good enough to beat those opponents, despite UP investing unprecedented millions in its basketball program over the last decade. Of course, adoptedzag says that "beat them" is a "simple" step in his three-step formula for success. Again, blaming the poor for their poverty is easy when you are rich.

And let's imagine that the Pilots were able to start beating the high-profile OOC opponents that they play against every year. The prototype for that path to success is Monmouth 2016: "Monmouth's resume includes 27 wins, a best-in-the-nation 17 road or neutral court wins, and a nonconference strength of schedule that was the 20th-toughest in the country, doing well against a tough group of opponents." (source) They beat UCLA, USC, Georgetown and Notre Dame. They didn't make the tournament. Two years later, they just finished their season at 11-20 and lost in the first round of the MAAC tournament. And that's in a league without a Gonzage-type school at the top blocking the path to the tournament.

Adoptedzag, please give us examples of schools that have followed your formula for success. And to be clear, your formula is this: If you are in a conference with a dominant team that locks up the auto-bid to the conference every year, thereby preventing you from reaching the tournament via the most conventional path open to most schools in non-power conferences, you can yourself become a consistently successful program by 1) scheduling OOC games against good teams, 2) beating those teams, and 3) then you don't have to worry about getting the auto-bid.

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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by Stonehouse on Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:08 pm

NoPoNeighbor wrote:I disagree with Stonehouse. The problem is not the difficulty in scheduling OOC games against good opponents. The Pilots have been able to do that. The problem is that the Pilots are not good enough to beat those opponents, despite UP investing unprecedented millions in its basketball program over the last decade. Of course, adoptedzag says that "beat them" is a "simple" step in his three-step formula for success. Again, blaming the poor for their poverty is easy when you are rich.

Fair enough, though my main point was that Portland (and teams in a similar position) can no longer get big OOC opponents to play a true road game. Oregon might be willing to play us in Eugene (emphasis on might), but the days of them coming to the Chiles Center are long gone.

I just did a quick glance at Gonzaga's schedule from the 2000s (when they were still something of a Cinderella... they "only" made three Sweet 16s in these 10 seasons, and no Elite Eights), and they had true home games against:

Washington (00-01)
New Mexico (00-01)
Washington State (01-02)
Washington (02-03)
Georgia (03-04)
Missouri (03-04)
Washington (04-05)
Washington State (05-06)
Oklahoma State (05-06)
Virginia (05-06)
Washington (06-07)
Memphis (06-07)
Washington State (07-08)
Utah (07-08)
Georgia (07-08) *Spokane Areana
Washington State (09-10)
Wake Forest (09-10)
Oklahoma (09-10)

Gonzaga won a lot of those games, helping improve their ranking and reputation.

But a lot has changed in today's landscape... just imagine if St. Mary's could get teams like that to come play them in Moraga. Pretty sure they would be able to improve their ranking and reputation quite a bit.

As an interesting side note, as I was going through their seasons on Basketball Reference, I noticed an interesting trend of Gonzaga's national ranking going up and up and up throughout the WCC season. Gonzaga's aggressive OOC scheduling was made possible (in part) by their dominance of the WCC. If Gonzaga had been in, say, the MWC during this time, they might have had to dial down some of the high-profile tournaments and other big OOC games because they knew they would not be able to count on dominating their conference... the same calculation that has lead a lot of Power 5 teams to opt for lighter OOC schedules with "guarantee gams" rather than playing true road games.

00-01: Unranked at start of WCC season; unranked in final poll
01-02: #22 first week of WCC season; #6 in final poll
02-03: Unranked at start of WCC season; unranked in final poll
03-04: #16 first week of WCC season; #3 in final poll
04-05: #16 first week of WCC season; #10 in final poll
05-06: #8 first week of WCC season; #5 in final poll
06-07: Unranked at start of WCC season; unranked in final poll
07-08: Unranked at start of WCC season; #24 in final poll
08-09: Unranked at start of WCC season; #10 in final poll
09-10: Unranked at start of WCC season; #22 in final poll


Last edited by Stonehouse on Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by NoPoNeighbor on Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:11 pm

Stonehouse wrote:As an interesting side note, as I was going through their seasons on Basketball Reference, I noticed an interesting trend of Gonzaga's national ranking going up and up and up throughout the WCC season. Gonzaga's aggressive OOC scheduling was made possible (in part) by their dominance of the WCC. If Gonzaga had been in, say, the MWC during this time, they might have had to dial down some of the high-profile tournaments and other big OOC games because they knew they would not be able to count on dominating their conference... the same calculation that has lead a lot of Power 5 teams to opt for lighter OOC schedules with "guarantee gams" rather than playing true road games.

00-01: Unranked at start of WCC season; unranked in final poll
01-02: #22 first week of WCC season; #6 in final poll
02-03: Unranked at start of WCC season; unranked in final poll
03-04: #16 first week of WCC season; #3 in final poll
04-05: #16 first week of WCC season; #10 in final poll
05-06: #8 first week of WCC season; #5 in final poll
06-07: Unranked at start of WCC season; unranked in final poll
07-08: Unranked at start of WCC season; #24 in final poll
08-09: Unranked at start of WCC season; #10 in final poll
08-09: Unranked at start of WCC season; #22 in final poll
That is a great point, Stonehouse. Pretty clearly refutes GU's argument that the WCC is somehow holding them back. (If the fact of them having reaching the national title game last year weren't enough to make the case already.)

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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by Stonehouse on Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:25 pm

NoPoNeighbor wrote:Pretty clearly refutes GU's argument that the WCC is somehow holding them back. (If the fact of them having reaching the national title game last year weren't enough to make the case already.)

For sure. Though to be fair, I would be interested to see if the pattern held true for RPI rankings. I would *guess* that those also went up thanks to winning so many games, but I'm sure their SOS definitely went down quite a bit.

And I also have to wonder what the "intangible" benefit Gonzaga received from being in the polls for so many weeks year after year, and being shown on ESPN so often beating up on WCC teams. That had to have helped them with stoking alumni interest (and donations), community support, recruiting, etc.

None of this is to take away from their tremendous success... it's just an interesting thought experiment to challenge GU fans to think about ways the WCC helped them in their rise rather than seeing the WCC as holding them back.

Maybe the argument can be made that GU basketball has now outgrown the WCC, but if they do leave I hope their fans can recognize that the conference was a big contributor to their success.
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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by up7587 on Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:45 pm

NoPoNeighbor wrote:When we hear vague demands for the lower-tier WCC schools to "try harder" and "invest more," these must be the exact things that are implied, right? Spend money on better facilities, hire better/higher profile coaches, increase your recruiting budget, and schedule tougher OOC opponents. Are there other "try harder" steps that we aren't taking? Pray tell!

You forgot the other easy steps. Recruit a 5 star player or two, and pick up some transfer players for hire from P5 schools.
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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by Dean Murdoch on Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:10 pm

NoPo, thanks for putting into words what I was too lazy to do myself.

You hit the nail on the head with every point in there.
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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by adoptedzag on Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:26 am

Stonehouse wrote:
NoPoNeighbor wrote:I disagree with Stonehouse. The problem is not the difficulty in scheduling OOC games against good opponents. The Pilots have been able to do that. The problem is that the Pilots are not good enough to beat those opponents, despite UP investing unprecedented millions in its basketball program over the last decade. Of course, adoptedzag says that "beat them" is a "simple" step in his three-step formula for success. Again, blaming the poor for their poverty is easy when you are rich.

Fair enough, though my main point was that Portland (and teams in a similar position) can no longer get big OOC opponents to play a true road game. Oregon might be willing to play us in Eugene (emphasis on might), but the days of them coming to the Chiles Center are long gone.

I just did a quick glance at Gonzaga's schedule from the 2000s (when they were still something of a Cinderella... they "only" made three Sweet 16s in these 10 seasons, and no Elite Eights), and they had true home games against:

Washington (00-01)
New Mexico (00-01)
Washington State (01-02)
Washington (02-03)
Georgia (03-04)
Missouri (03-04)
Washington (04-05)
Washington State (05-06)
Oklahoma State (05-06)
Virginia (05-06)
Washington (06-07)
Memphis (06-07)
Washington State (07-08)
Utah (07-08)
Georgia (07-08) *Spokane Areana
Washington State (09-10)
Wake Forest (09-10)
Oklahoma (09-10)

Gonzaga won a lot of those games, helping improve their ranking and reputation.

But a lot has changed in today's landscape... just imagine if St. Mary's could get teams like that to come play them in Moraga. Pretty sure they would be able to improve their ranking and reputation quite a bit.

As an interesting side note, as I was going through their seasons on Basketball Reference, I noticed an interesting trend of Gonzaga's national ranking going up and up and up throughout the WCC season. Gonzaga's aggressive OOC scheduling was made possible (in part) by their dominance of the WCC. If Gonzaga had been in, say, the MWC during this time, they might have had to dial down some of the high-profile tournaments and other big OOC games because they knew they would not be able to count on dominating their conference... the same calculation that has lead a lot of Power 5 teams to opt for lighter OOC schedules with "guarantee gams" rather than playing true road games.

00-01: Unranked at start of WCC season; unranked in final poll
01-02: #22 first week of WCC season; #6 in final poll
02-03: Unranked at start of WCC season; unranked in final poll
03-04: #16 first week of WCC season; #3 in final poll
04-05: #16 first week of WCC season; #10 in final poll
05-06: #8 first week of WCC season; #5 in final poll
06-07: Unranked at start of WCC season; unranked in final poll
07-08: Unranked at start of WCC season; #24 in final poll
08-09: Unranked at start of WCC season; #10 in final poll
09-10: Unranked at start of WCC season; #22 in final poll

First off, SMC won't do a return game. They expect people just to come to Moraga without stepping outside of California. They're stubborn about that and the main bone of contention that I have with their scheduling.


You're listing all these teams like they all decided to sign up all at once. To add to that, the list is disingenuous because we weren't bringing in super high RPI teams right away. The only outlier was UNM, but you get lucky with those sometimes. They're a decent but not great program. I would say we really started bringing in solid RPI boosting teams in 03-04, after 4 straight years of being a proven commodity.

Washington (00-01) RPI - 167
New Mexico (00-01) RPI - 50
===========================
Washington State (01-02) RPI - 258
===========================
Washington (02-03) RPI - 188
===========================
Georgia (03-04) RPI - 63
Missouri (03-04) RPI - 47
===========================
Washington (04-05) RPI 6
===========================
Washington State (05-06) RPI 169
Oklahoma State (05-06) RPI 95
Virginia (05-06) RPI 86
===========================
Washington (06-07) RPI - 83
Memphis (06-07) RPI - 7
===========================
Washington State (07-08) RPI - 19
Utah (07-08) RPI - 98
Georgia (07-08) *Spokane Arena - RPI - 99
===========================
none (08-09)
===========================
Washington State (09-10) RPI - 168
Wake Forest (09-10) RPI - 31
Oklahoma (09-10) RPI - 122

Some of those games were multi-year games where they just happened to hire a young firebrand coach and get good for a year or two (Washington St.) or they were bad, got a good recruiting class and won some games (Washington), personal friendship between coaches (Few/Calipari - Memphis).

Scheduling is more art than science, and sometimes name recognition doesn't mean good team.

For comparison's sake, do you think that Portland could get a team like E. Tenn. St. to a home and home? What about a 2a/1h deal where Portland plays 2 away and 1 in the chiles center? They're RPI #93, a fantastic boost to your schedule. Fresno St? Marshall? They're all around RPI 100. They may not be "names" but they're solid teams. And with the fantastic hire of Coach Porter, who wouldn't want his team to come to their floor? Former NBA player, good young team. Win Win for everyone.

Like I've said a million times before, there will not be a team that will do it exactly the way GU has done it in the WCC, there was a perfect storm that we rode the wave of. You have to get creative.

And as far as "blaming the poor", when I see teams like Pepperdine pull money out of their basketball program or LMU hire a coach and nothing else, yes, I will "blame the poor". Portland is on the right track and I think they're doing well.

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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by adoptedzag on Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:39 am

NoPoNeighbor wrote:
Adoptedzag, please give us examples of schools that have followed your formula for success. And to be clear, your formula is this: If you are in a conference with a dominant team that locks up the auto-bid to the conference every year, thereby preventing you from reaching the tournament via the most conventional path open to most schools in non-power conferences, you can yourself become a consistently successful program by 1) scheduling OOC games against good teams, 2) beating those teams, and 3) then you don't have to worry about getting the auto-bid.

SMC.








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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by Stonehouse on Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:19 am

adoptedzag wrote:First off, SMC won't do a return game.  They expect people just to come to Moraga without stepping outside of California.  They're stubborn about that and the main bone of contention that I have with their scheduling.

???

I'm 100% positive SMC would agree a home-and-home series with a Power 5 team, even one outside of California. The problem is no one will give them one.

And I don't know what you're talking about saying they won't do a return game... they have played at California and Stanford multiple times in the past few years without ever getting a home game in return. It's the other schools that won't do a return game, not SMC.

I'm sure it's true that SMC has turned down some 2-for-1 opportunities and "guarantee" games where they play at a team like Arizona State or something like that with no return game, but they have to be careful with their scheduling... their margin of error is so slim when it comes to getting an at-large berth that they can't just schedule a bunch of difficult road games and hope for the best come selection Sunday.


adoptedzag wrote:For comparison's sake, do you think that Portland could get a team like E. Tenn. St. to a home and home? What about a 2a/1h deal where Portland plays 2 away and 1 in the chiles center? They're RPI #93, a fantastic boost to your schedule.  Fresno St? Marshall? They're all around RPI 100.  They may not be "names" but they're solid teams.

Portland has scheduled like that many times over the years. Off the top of my head, I remember games against solid teams like Winthrop, Murray State, Nevada, San Diego State, Boise State, UNLV, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Yale, etc.

But you can't always know which teams are going to end up having good years, and you also have to factor in your team and your existing schedule. This year's Portland team was VERY young, and it also already had the PK80 tournament on the books. I can't blame the coaches for wanting to schedule some OOC games that would provide their team with opportunities for competitive games to help them gain experience and confidence. It's tough to grow as a team if the last 10 minutes of every game is garbage time.

Plus, not a lot of east coast teams will travel west without having at least two games scheduled. That's an extra little barrier to getting a team like Middle Tennessee State out to Oregon.

That said, on the whole I agree with you... I have gotten very frustrated over the years with the two non-D1 games that have recently become a given on UP's schedule. I think those games are basically useless for everyone involved. I'd infinitely prefer a home-and-home series with a team from the Big Sky or Big West or WAC or anywhere, really.

adoptedzag wrote:
And as far as "blaming the poor", when I see teams like Pepperdine pull money out of their basketball program or LMU hire a coach and nothing else, yes, I will "blame the poor".

I'll admit to not being 100% up to speed on Pepperdine's situation, but my understanding was that they made the mistake of announcing an ambitious new arena as though it were a sure thing without first having secured funding for it. I think they were trying to get $50 million and ended up with only $11 million. To me, that's a lot different than pulling money out of the program... it's disappointing for sure and a big error in judgement in terms of where they thought the money was coming from (usually you don't announce those types of things unless you have secured a lead gift and at least half the money raised), but at least they are trying. What is being done now with the money they did raise? That I don't know.
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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by Dean Murdoch on Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:27 am

adoptedzag wrote:For comparison's sake, do you think that Portland could get a team like E. Tenn. St. to a home and home? What about a 2a/1h deal where Portland plays 2 away and 1 in the chiles center? They're RPI #93, a fantastic boost to your schedule.  Fresno St? Marshall? They're all around RPI 100.  They may not be "names" but they're solid teams.  And with the fantastic hire of Coach Porter, who wouldn't want his team to come to their floor?  Former NBA player, good young team.  Win Win for everyone.

First off, sorry for my uppity initial reaction to your presence here. Struck a wrong chord with me on the wrong day.

I'm now intrigued.

Let's take your example and apply it to this year. If I'm understanding correctly, you would have preferred it if the Pilots would have dropped two RPI drainers and added a couple premium mid-majors to the non-conference schedule. So in theory, if we remove the San Jose State and Sac State games and added East Tennessee State away (we gave them a 2-for-1 as per your suggestion and started in Johnson City) and Montana at home (1-for-1, we go to Missoula next year). Let's say we lost both of those games, as likely would have been the case.

Portland's final record moves from 10-22 to 8-24, and 5-24 against D1 opponents. Portland's RPI improves from 283 to 280 as per rpiforecast.com. Gonzaga's RPI stays stagnant at 29.

With the above results in mind, please explain how this scheduling benefits a young team like Portland. And also how it benefits Gonzaga, because obviously your entire interest on Portland improving its program is to benefit GU.

In my mind, the result is taking away two positive results by an extremely young team against opponents similar in strength to teams we knew we'd be battling this year in the lower half of the WCC. Instead, the Pilots - who, by the way, returned only 20.7% of their minutes played from last season to rank 335th in the country there - are now 1-9 against Division I teams heading into conference play and are 1-15 after six straight losses to open WCC play. Not a good situation for one of the youngest teams in the entire nation. No thanks, I'd rather have the two wins over SJ State and Sac State for these guys rather than improve RPI by 3 places by scheduling teams that everyone knew were above our heads this season.
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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by adoptedzag on Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:48 am

Dean Murdoch wrote:
First off, sorry for my uppity initial reaction to your presence here. Struck a wrong chord with me on the wrong day.

No sweat, this is the internet, after all Wink


Dean Murdoch wrote:
I'm now intrigued.

Let's take your example and apply it to this year. If I'm understanding correctly, you would have preferred it if the Pilots would have dropped two RPI drainers and added a couple premium mid-majors to the non-conference schedule. So in theory, if we remove the San Jose State and Sac State games and added East Tennessee State away (we gave them a 2-for-1 as per your suggestion and started in Johnson City) and Montana at home (1-for-1, we go to Missoula next year). Let's say we lost both of those games, as likely would have been the case.
That's a pretty pessimistic viewpoint, where are your purple colored glasses?! Smile I want to be clear, none of this is a 1-year fix. This is about establishing a baseline culture and making yourself a known commodity. Most of GU's success is perpetuated because our opponents know that we will be a "good" win or loss for them.
Dean Murdoch wrote:
Gonzaga's RPI stays stagnant at 29.

With the above results in mind, please explain how this scheduling benefits a young team like Portland. And also how it benefits Gonzaga, because obviously your entire interest on Portland improving its program is to benefit GU.

Not quite - sure I'd love to see a benefit to GU, I'd be lying if I said I didn't. What my goal is, in this hypothetical is to strengthen the entire conference, top to bottom. This will not only improve GU's at-large chances should we fail to win the auto-bid, but it will allow for multiple at-large teams which means more $$$ for everyone. I would absolutely love to see the WCC become the old big east type of conference.

Dean Murdoch wrote:
In my mind, the result is taking away two positive results by an extremely young team against opponents similar in strength to teams we knew we'd be battling this year in the lower half of the WCC. Instead, the Pilots - who, by the way, returned only 20.7% of their minutes played from last season to rank 335th in the country there - are now 1-9 against Division I teams heading into conference play and are 1-15 after six straight losses to open WCC play. Not a good situation for one of the youngest teams in the entire nation. No thanks, I'd rather have the two wins over SJ State and Sac State for these guys rather than improve RPI by 3 places by scheduling teams that everyone knew were above our heads this season.

That's fair. Coach Few schedules down when he feels his team isn't ready for the challenge. Only the coaches know best for their particular teams. I'm not saying the teams need to pull a Texas Southern or LBSU where every single game in the OOC is on the road, but there's things that can be done to incrementally improve. Positive forward motion is all anyone's asking for.

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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by NoPoNeighbor on Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:50 pm

adoptedzag wrote:First off, SMC won't do a return game.  They expect people just to come to Moraga without stepping outside of California.  They're stubborn about that and the main bone of contention that I have with their scheduling.

adoptedzag wrote:
NoPoNeighbor wrote:Adoptedzag, please give us examples of schools that have followed your formula for success. And to be clear, your formula is this: If you are in a conference with a dominant team that locks up the auto-bid to the conference every year, thereby preventing you from reaching the tournament via the most conventional path open to most schools in non-power conferences, you can yourself become a consistently successful program by 1) scheduling OOC games against good teams, 2) beating those teams, and 3) then you don't have to worry about getting the auto-bid.

SMC.
There were 13 minutes between you writing that SMC's scheduling is wrong and then writing that SMC's scheduling is an example that should be followed by the other WCC teams. The entire GU narrative, repeated over and over on your message board, is that SMC's scheduling is terrible and they hang their entire reputation on beating GU. So no, SMC is not a valid example of the "simple" path to success that you have prescribed for your other WCC opponents. If that is the one example you can come up with, I'll assume that no valid examples exist.

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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by NoPoNeighbor on Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:11 pm

adoptedzag wrote:I'm not saying the teams need to pull a Texas Southern or LBSU where every single game in the OOC is on the road, but there's things that can be done to incrementally improve.  Positive forward motion is all anyone's asking for.

Positive forward motion, such as...
NoPoNeighbor wrote:- Major investments in new locker rooms, weight room, and a dedicated basketball practice facility;
- Hiring a coaching staff that would be impressive at any Power 6 school: Head coach who is an NBA legend, with NBA head coaching experience; and two high-profile assistant coaches with significant Pac12 experience and track records of finding and coaching NBA-caliber recruits;
- Recruiting budget allowing for travel around the world;
- Playing multiple OOC games every year against P6 opponents and regular NCAA tournament teams, including some of the best programs in the country: Kentucky, Michigan State, UNLV, UCLA, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, North Carolina, Oregon State, Boise State, Oklahoma...
This debate really comes down to the difference between effort and results. The above list is an accounting of UP's effort to improve its basketball program. So far, the results are non-existent. Adoptedzag's argument is that our lack of results is because of a lack of effort; we aren't trying hard enough. Yet, given the above list of efforts made, the only actual, tangible concrete suggestion for how we should try harder in a way that we aren't already trying is to schedule home-and-homes against East Tennessee and Marshall.

The only path I see for UP to have periodic, realistic chances to appear in the NCAA tournament (which, in all honesty, is what 95% of the mid-major schools in the nation strive for: the chance to make the tournament every few years when they have a peak year and can rise to the top of their conference) is for Gonzaga to move on. If Butler were still in the Horizon League, the other teams in that conference would be in the same position as the Pilots and the rest of the WCC. Butler became dominant in the Horizon and moved on. If success in college basketball is measured by doing well in your conference and making the NCAA tournament, the other Horizon League teams are better off for Butler having left.

Gonzaga is under no obligation to leave the WCC, even though I think it would be a net positive for 7 of the league's members. They are also under no obligation to stay, and might very well find a number of valid reasons to go. However, I don't think there is any logic to the argument that Gonzaga needs to leave because the WCC is somehow holding them back. Gonzaga is not a victim of LMU, or Pepperdine, or Portland. You got rich, you are getting richer, you are at the elite upper echelon of the entire Division I, and have been for years. Stay or go, but either way stop complaining.

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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by up7587 on Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:00 am

GU fan was also at the game tonight, with many of the same talking points as the GU board about how bad the rest of us are.  For example, I learned that GU's McCarthey Athletic Center (MAC) has 3,000 more seats than the other schools in the WCC (I assume he was excluding BYU), but that it would be smaller than most of the Mtn West facilities.

MAC - 6,000 capacity
UOP - 6,150
USF - 5,300
USD - 5,100
Chiles - 4,852
SCU - 4,500
LMU - 3,900
SMC - 3,500
PU - 3,104

He was almost correct with PU, but otherwise, not so much.

I also learned that if GU was in the PAC-12, they'd consistently be one of the top 2 or 3 teams.  I have reservations about that.  They would not have the most resources by a mile that they are used to.  According to this web site, GU spends $5.95M on basketball. UCLA spends $12.7M, UW $6.9M, UO $5.96M, UC- Berkeley $6.3M, ASU $6.26M, and UA $7.8M.
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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by SouthCarolinaPilot on Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:56 am

I am hesitant to wade back into these waters after having read what I have started. But, I did want to share something that occurred to me the other day.

Some of you have been searching for an equivalent conference where there is one team that throttles the rest of the conference, with maybe one or two other decent teams, and several teams without a prayer. I found the appropriate comparison, but it is not in men's basketball. It comes in the American Athletic Conference in women's basketball. Your Gonzaga is UConn. Your Saint Mary's is USF (South Florida). The rest are the rest.

I tend to agree with Geno Auriemma that UConn is good for women's basketball and that it is up to the rest of the women's basketball world to beat them. But, more than money and commitment will be needed to bridge the gap between the Tulsa's and the UConn's of women's basketball or the Gonzaga's and Portland's on the men's basketball side of things.

Also, just wanted to share this resource if anyone wants to go off and make comparisons: https://ope.ed.gov/athletics/#/
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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by adoptedzag on Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:41 am

NoPoNeighbor wrote:
adoptedzag wrote:First off, SMC won't do a return game.  They expect people just to come to Moraga without stepping outside of California.  They're stubborn about that and the main bone of contention that I have with their scheduling.

adoptedzag wrote:
NoPoNeighbor wrote:Adoptedzag, please give us examples of schools that have followed your formula for success. And to be clear, your formula is this: If you are in a conference with a dominant team that locks up the auto-bid to the conference every year, thereby preventing you from reaching the tournament via the most conventional path open to most schools in non-power conferences, you can yourself become a consistently successful program by 1) scheduling OOC games against good teams, 2) beating those teams, and 3) then you don't have to worry about getting the auto-bid.

SMC.
There were 13 minutes between you writing that SMC's scheduling is wrong and then writing that SMC's scheduling is an example that should be followed by the other WCC teams. The entire GU narrative, repeated over and over on your message board, is that SMC's scheduling is terrible and they hang their entire reputation on beating GU. So no, SMC is not a valid example of the "simple" path to success that you have prescribed for your other WCC opponents. If that is the one example you can come up with, I'll assume that no valid examples exist.

Just because I disagree with SMC's scheduling tactics and think they're shooting themselves in the foot doesn't mean it's not a path to the tournament. The loss to BYU last night exposes why I don't like their scheduling. Their only "signature win" is a good one, but it is literally the only thing they can hang their resume on. Now they'll be sweating come selection sunday. Their margin for error was so small, but if they took care of business they would be in the tournament. I was asked for another team that made the NCAA tournament with a Gonzaga-like team in their conference, at the time that I wrote the response, SMC was projected to be in. If you don't like the answer, don't ask the question. You can assume all you want.


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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by adoptedzag on Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:49 am

NoPoNeighbor wrote:
adoptedzag wrote:I'm not saying the teams need to pull a Texas Southern or LBSU where every single game in the OOC is on the road, but there's things that can be done to incrementally improve.  Positive forward motion is all anyone's asking for.

Positive forward motion, such as...
NoPoNeighbor wrote:- Major investments in new locker rooms, weight room, and a dedicated basketball practice facility;
- Hiring a coaching staff that would be impressive at any Power 6 school: Head coach who is an NBA legend, with NBA head coaching experience; and two high-profile assistant coaches with significant Pac12 experience and track records of finding and coaching NBA-caliber recruits;
- Recruiting budget allowing for travel around the world;
- Playing multiple OOC games every year against P6 opponents and regular NCAA tournament teams, including some of the best programs in the country: Kentucky, Michigan State, UNLV, UCLA, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, North Carolina, Oregon State, Boise State, Oklahoma...
This debate really comes down to the difference between effort and results. The above list is an accounting of UP's effort to improve its basketball program. So far, the results are non-existent. Adoptedzag's argument is that our lack of results is because of a lack of effort; we aren't trying hard enough. Yet, given the above list of efforts made, the only actual, tangible concrete suggestion for how we should try harder in a way that we aren't already trying is to schedule home-and-homes against East Tennessee and Marshall.

The only path I see for UP to have periodic, realistic chances to appear in the NCAA tournament (which, in all honesty, is what 95% of the mid-major schools in the nation strive for: the chance to make the tournament every few years when they have a peak year and can rise to the top of their conference) is for Gonzaga to move on. If Butler were still in the Horizon League, the other teams in that conference would be in the same position as the Pilots and the rest of the WCC. Butler became dominant in the Horizon and moved on. If success in college basketball is measured by doing well in your conference and making the NCAA tournament, the other Horizon League teams are better off for Butler having left.

Gonzaga is under no obligation to leave the WCC, even though I think it would be a net positive for 7 of the league's members. They are also under no obligation to stay, and might very well find a number of valid reasons to go. However, I don't think there is any logic to the argument that Gonzaga needs to leave because the WCC is somehow holding them back. Gonzaga is not a victim of LMU, or Pepperdine, or Portland. You got rich, you are getting richer, you are at the elite upper echelon of the entire Division I, and have been for years. Stay or go, but either way stop complaining.

So, in that vein, if one person in your neighborhood comes into some money through hard work, getting lucky, etc and renovates their house, shares their newfound wealth equally with let's say 9 other neighbors so they can improve their lot in life. If that neighbor hopes that the money would be put to good use like improving their yards or houses to raise the stature of the neighborhood and is disappointed when the money is used on presumably hookers and blow they should just not be disappointed? If you think that GU leaving would be a good thing for the conference, we have a fundamental difference of opinion on what a "good thing" is. Personally I'd rather beat the best than just want every top dog to leave town until I was the best, but that's just me.

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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by adoptedzag on Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:50 am

SouthCarolinaPilot wrote:I am hesitant to wade back into these waters after having read what I have started. But, I did want to share something that occurred to me the other day.

Some of you have been searching for an equivalent conference where there is one team that throttles the rest of the conference, with maybe one or two other decent teams, and several teams without a prayer. I found the appropriate comparison, but it is not in men's basketball. It comes in the American Athletic Conference in women's basketball. Your Gonzaga is UConn. Your Saint Mary's is USF (South Florida). The rest are the rest.

I tend to agree with Geno Auriemma that UConn is good for women's basketball and that it is up to the rest of the women's basketball world to beat them. But, more than money and commitment will be needed to bridge the gap between the Tulsa's and the UConn's of women's basketball or the Gonzaga's and Portland's on the men's basketball side of things.

Also, just wanted to share this resource if anyone wants to go off and make comparisons: https://ope.ed.gov/athletics/#/

That's a cool link, thanks for sharing it.

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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by Stonehouse on Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:08 pm

adoptedzag wrote:So, in that vein, if one person in your neighborhood comes into some money through hard work, getting lucky, etc and renovates their house, shares their newfound wealth equally with let's say 9 other neighbors so they can improve their lot in life.  If that neighbor hopes that the money would be put to good use like improving their yards or houses to raise the stature of the neighborhood and is disappointed when the money is used on presumably hookers and blow they should just not be disappointed? If you think that GU leaving would be a good thing for the conference, we have a fundamental difference of opinion on what a "good thing" is.

Oh sheesh... easy with the metaphors there, AdoptedZag. (Also, side note: does that username mean you didn't actually attend GU? That might explain your attitude a bit more.)

You're totally off-base about where Gonzaga's NCAA tournament units go. From GU's own athletic director:

“The money goes all to the league to run the league. Our league doesn’t pay dues, we don’t have the revenues that the Power Five conferences have,” Roth said. “We don’t have millions of dollars coming in through league TV contracts to pay things. Instead of paying dues, the league helps subsidize some travel – now they’re doing less of that than they used to, but the league takes it and operates on it.”

https://www.gonzagabulletin.com/online/article_aa574850-304c-11e7-b7d4-4f42347ea887.html

Very little of the money Gonzaga generates from earning NCAA units ends up being used to help fund basketball at the other schools. Instead, it pays for all the WCC's expenses (staff, office space, tournaments - in Vegas for bball and for other spots like XC, golf, tennis, etc.) and to help subsidize travel and other expenses for ALL WCC sports.

And yes, of course the argument can be made that Gonzaga should keep more of the share of the pie, particularly for units earned after the first round. My understanding is that there have been some changes in this area recently, and I'm sure that Gonzaga's saber-rattling now (regarding the MWC) means they are trying to lobby for even greater changes. And I think that's a fair argument to be made.

But PLEASE get out of here with your terrible, terrible analogy about thrifty, industrious Gonzaga and the Welfare Queen WCC.

Also, you are posting on an opposing team's message board - do you really expect all of us to just be grovelling for Gonzaga to stay and thanking them over and over for their benevolence and munificence? What are you even trying to accomplish here?


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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by NoPoNeighbor on Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:18 pm

adoptedzag wrote:I was asked for another team that made the NCAA tournament with a Gonzaga-like team in their conference, at the time that I wrote the response, SMC was projected to be in.  If you don't like the answer, don't ask the question.  You can assume all you want.
Wrong. Here is what you were asked (and you even cited this exact paragraph in your response, so clearly you know that this is what you were being asked):
NoPoNeighbor wrote:Adoptedzag, please give us examples of schools that have followed your formula for success. And to be clear, your formula is this: If you are in a conference with a dominant team that locks up the auto-bid to the conference every year, thereby preventing you from reaching the tournament via the most conventional path open to most schools in non-power conferences, you can yourself become a consistently successful program by 1) scheduling OOC games against good teams, 2) beating those teams, and 3) then you don't have to worry about getting the auto-bid.
You said that UP and the other WCC schools should follow this "simple" three-step forumula for success. When asked for an example of another school that had actually achieved success via that formula, the single example you provided was SMC, which, per your own argument, has failed to follow the formula.

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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by NoPoNeighbor on Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:23 pm

Stonehouse wrote:Also, you are posting on an opposing team's message board - do you really expect all of us to just be grovelling for Gonzaga to stay and thanking them over and over for their benevolence and munificence? What are you even trying to accomplish here?
I hope adoptedzag sticks around. This is more fun than lamenting the Pilots' proclivity for blowing double-digit leads, or complaining about Hartwich's free throw percentage.

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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by adoptedzag on Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:32 pm

Stonehouse wrote:
adoptedzag wrote:So, in that vein, if one person in your neighborhood comes into some money through hard work, getting lucky, etc and renovates their house, shares their newfound wealth equally with let's say 9 other neighbors so they can improve their lot in life.  If that neighbor hopes that the money would be put to good use like improving their yards or houses to raise the stature of the neighborhood and is disappointed when the money is used on presumably hookers and blow they should just not be disappointed? If you think that GU leaving would be a good thing for the conference, we have a fundamental difference of opinion on what a "good thing" is.

Oh sheesh... easy with the metaphors there, AdoptedZag. (Also, side note: does that username mean you didn't actually attend GU? That might explain your attitude a bit more.)

You're totally off-base about where Gonzaga's NCAA tournament units go. From GU's own athletic director:

“The money goes all to the league to run the league. Our league doesn’t pay dues, we don’t have the revenues that the Power Five conferences have,” Roth said. “We don’t have millions of dollars coming in through league TV contracts to pay things. Instead of paying dues, the league helps subsidize some travel – now they’re doing less of that than they used to, but the league takes it and operates on it.”

https://www.gonzagabulletin.com/online/article_aa574850-304c-11e7-b7d4-4f42347ea887.html

Very little of the money Gonzaga generates from earning NCAA units ends up being used to help fund basketball at the other schools. Instead, it pays for all the WCC's expenses (staff, office space, tournaments - in Vegas for bball and for other spots like XC, golf, tennis, etc.) and to help subsidize travel and other expenses for ALL WCC sports.

And yes, of course the argument can be made that Gonzaga should keep more of the share of the pie, particularly for units earned after the first round. My understanding is that there have been some changes in this area recently, and I'm sure that Gonzaga's saber-rattling now (regarding the MWC) means they are trying to lobby for even greater changes. And I think that's a fair argument to be made.

But PLEASE get out of here with your terrible, terrible analogy about thrifty, industrious Gonzaga and the Welfare Queen WCC.

Also, you are posting on an opposing team's message board - do you really expect all of us to just be grovelling for Gonzaga to stay and thanking them over and over for their benevolence and munificence? What are you even trying to accomplish here?



Breaking up the echo chamber of the "woe is me, we'll never get to the NCAAT" crowd. I don't mind a bit of discussion with the folks on the other side of the tracks. Its interesting to get different perspectives, even though yours is completely wrong Wink. As far as trying to insult me, my username comes from the fact that I married into 3 generations of Zags and should be completing my time there sometime this century. I got my undergrad from EWU. Not that being an alumnus matters all that much - people love a winner.

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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by adoptedzag on Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:42 pm

NoPoNeighbor wrote:
adoptedzag wrote:I was asked for another team that made the NCAA tournament with a Gonzaga-like team in their conference, at the time that I wrote the response, SMC was projected to be in.  If you don't like the answer, don't ask the question.  You can assume all you want.
Wrong. Here is what you were asked (and you even cited this exact paragraph in your response, so clearly you know that this is what you were being asked):
NoPoNeighbor wrote:Adoptedzag, please give us examples of schools that have followed your formula for success. And to be clear, your formula is this: If you are in a conference with a dominant team that locks up the auto-bid to the conference every year, thereby preventing you from reaching the tournament via the most conventional path open to most schools in non-power conferences, you can yourself become a consistently successful program by 1) scheduling OOC games against good teams, 2) beating those teams, and 3) then you don't have to worry about getting the auto-bid.
You said that UP and the other WCC schools should follow this "simple" three-step forumula for success. When asked for an example of another school that had actually achieved success via that formula, the single example you provided was SMC, which, per your own argument, has failed to follow the formula.

Bleh, you can't use SMC pooping the bed against me. Their plan works sometimes, until it doesn't. That being said, my argument hasn't gone up in flames just yet. There's still a chance they make it, albeit slim.

Also, it's hard to find a mid-major conference that's been dominated for so long because generally the good coaches from those conferences move on to greener (as in money) pastures. That hasn't been the case in Spokane in the last 20 years. Lightning in a bottle, dumb luck, whatever you want to call it.

Anyway, my point is that no one is going to replicate exactly the way GU has done it so either someone needs to dethrone the king, fight a bunch of other battles in the non-con, or hope the king moves on and live under another king, which SMC and/or BYU is poised to be if that does come to fruition. Given those criteria, the "easiest" one is to go the non-con route and maybe snatch one from SMC/GU/BYU during the season.

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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by NoPoNeighbor on Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:52 pm

adoptedzag wrote:So, in that vein, if one person in your neighborhood comes into some money through hard work, getting lucky, etc and renovates their house, shares their newfound wealth equally with let's say 9 other neighbors so they can improve their lot in life.  If that neighbor hopes that the money would be put to good use like improving their yards or houses to raise the stature of the neighborhood and is disappointed when the money is used on presumably hookers and blow they should just not be disappointed?
Clearly this metaphor is ridiculous and being used as provocation. But let's not get so distracted by the metaphor that we fail to acknowledge that it is simply incorrect. Gonzaga paying NCAA tournament revenue to the WCC is not "sharing." It is a requirement of the rules of the conference which Gonzaga is a member of. Gonzaga does not decide to share this money as an act of benevolence, and therefore does not have any reasonable expectation that the money will spent for any purpose other than that which is agreed upon and required by the rules of the conference. If you don't like the rules, you can try to change them, or you can leave. It looks like Gonzaga is currently trying to make one of those two things happen.
adoptedzag wrote:If you think that GU leaving would be a good thing for the conference, we have a fundamental difference of opinion on what a "good thing" is.  Personally I'd rather beat the best than just want every top dog to leave town until I was the best, but that's just me.
I was very clear in saying that I think GU leaving would be good for 7 teams in the conference. I have no opinion as to whether or not it would be good for "the conference."

I don't want "every top dog to leave." I just want every team to have a legitimate chance at being the top dog every once in a while. Most professional leagues try to achieve that exact goal, through salary caps, revenue sharing, awarding top draft picks to the worst teams, etc. There are no such mechanisms in college sports. So when one team is clearly no longer in the same league as the others, the only remedy to maintain competitive balance is for the dominant team to move up to a higher-caliber conference. The WCC is like AAA baseball, and GU is an MLB team playing in the minor leagues. I'd like GU to move up and play in the big leagues, so that the AAA teams have a chance to win against a field of their peers.

In the years when the Pilots win the WCC, we'll still get our chance to "beat the best" in the NCAA tournament, just like the winners of the other 25 non-Power 6 conferences.

p.s. On the ESPN broadcast of tonight's WCC Championship Game, the announcers were discussing the possibility that Gonzaga (and BYU) could leave the WCC. One of the announcers quoted GU's AD as having told him that GU would make the move that was "the best thing for our brand." I'm glad that the Pilots are a college basketball team, representing a university, rather than a brand.

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Re: The Rant You All Requested

Post by lomiton on Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:53 am

According to my BSU pals, the MWC end game is first, and foremost, about using it as leverage to get BYU into the football fold. Sure if someone like ESPN wants to put the dollars up to make a Gonzaga move worthwhile to everyone then they aren't going to turn away from that. However the MWC knows that BYU in the WCC is a "shoehorn fit" at best and that potentially losing Gonzaga tightens the shoe even further for our friends in Provo.

Outside of the private religious school aspect, it's obvious that BYU would be a better fit in the MWC for all parties concerned.  However there is a decent sized constituency (well monied too) within the Cougar community that has always believed that if BYU football officially aligns themselves below the Power 5 line they are doomed to licking University of Utah's boots from here to eternity.  However, this experiment has been going on since 2011 - and based on historical results there is real concern that even if LaVell Edwards were still coaching he'd have a tough time recruiting - and winning - at an independant BYU. Might be time to face facts and get in a conference that will have them for football.

MWC officials thought they had BYU in a box over conference affiliation but WCC threw the non-football sports a lifeline with conference membership which allowed them to take football independant.  So not a lot of love lost between MWC and WCC officials. If Gonzaga threatening to leave has provided the catalyst for BYU to start rethinking their current alliances then my guess is that the MWC will try to take care of Gonzaga in some fashion - if that's what BYU wants as consideration for rejoining the MWC party.

My guess is that BYU leaves for the MWC sooner rather than later (not now though) and Gonzaga uses this whole dance as leverage to get what they ultimately want - more money out of the WCC.  As a money giving Bulldog alum told me, if GU can get the money situation straightened out they couldn't ask for a better league situation than they already have right now (WCC). Bottom line is no real reason for Gonzaga to leave unless TV shows up with bags full of money to do it.

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